By Nishad Pai Vaidya
Jaipur: Apr 17, 2013
Rajasthan Royals recorded their third consecutive victory at home at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2013 by thumping Mumbai Indians by 87 runs. It was a dominant performance by Rajasthan as Ajinkya Rahane anchored them to 179 and then the bowlers put in a team effort to seal the deal. This victory has propelled Rajasthan to the top of the IPL 2013 points table.
The wicket at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium has helped the seamers this season, but Rahul Dravid won the toss and elected to bat. Rajasthan had two changes as Shanthakumaran Sreesanth missed out and Ankeet Chavan replaced him. Dishant Yagnik donned the wicket-keeping gloves in place of Sanju Samson. Mumbai were unchanged from their previous game.
Although the Mumbai seamers were getting some purchase early on, Rajasthan started with a flurry of boundaries. Both Ajinkya Rahane and Shane Watson were in good flow and brought up Rajasthan’s fifty inside the powerplay.
Watson fell soon after and to everybody’s surprise, Rajasthan promoted the wicket-keeper Dishant Yagnik to number three. That move worked wonders as Yagnik attacked the Mumbai bowling from the word go. His innings was a fluent exhibition of batting and he smashed 34 off only 24 balls. While Rahane went about his job calmly, Yagnik was toying with the bowling.
Brad Hodge contributed with 27 quick runs as Rahane also teed-off in the final over bowled by Mitchell Johnson.
Chasing 180, the formidable Mumbai batting line-up had their work cut-out gainst a confident Rajasthan bowling attack.
Ajit Chandila, the off-spinner was given the ball in the first over and he had a dream start as he dismissed Sachin Tendulkar. Rajasthan’s seamers may have done well at Jaipur, but they introduced another spinner in Chavan for the second over.
Chandila then return to account for the other master as Ricky Ponting merely lobbed a catch back at him in the third over. Mumbai were jolted early and were at 10 for two when Rohit Sharma joined Dinesh Karthik in the centre. They have been Mumbai’s best batsmen and the onus was on them again.
Rajasthan’s spinners kept a leash on the Mumbai’s batting and the first boundary only came in the fourth over. However, the pressure kept mounting as Mumbai only managed 26 in their powerplay. Rohit feel soon after as he gave mid-wicket an easy catch off Siddharth Trivedi. Mumbai were in doldrums as Kieron Pollard was bowled by Stuart Binny in the eight over and they were staring at a huge defeat.
There was no momentum or flow to the innings as even Karthik wasn’t able to get runs. His laboured struggle came to an end in the 13th over. He had taken 32 deliveries for his 30 runs. The result was a foregone conclusion as Mumbai managed only 92.
This is Mumbai’s first huge defeat this season and it would make them think. On the other hand, Rajasthan would be satisfied as they dominated a formidable side.
Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 179 for 3 in 20 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 68*, Dishant Yagnik 34; Harbhajan Singh 1 for 26, Kieron Pollard 1 for 24) beat Mumbai Indians 92 all-out in 18.2 overs (Dinesh Karthik 30, Ambati Rayudu 27; James Faulkner 3 for 16, Ajit Chandila 2 for 6) by 87 runs.
Man of the Match: Ajinkya Rahane